This week I read an article on Ganoksin (my favourite online jewellery resource) called “Crafting A Better Show.” As I’m getting ready to participate in my first juried show this fall, the article made me think a lot about where I want my business to fit into the world of jewellery/jewellery art, and what is out there to help me get where I’d like to be.
The Ganoksin article points out some of the benefits of a juried fine craft show, and while I think there are benefits to jurying, I don’t think it’s a perfect system. I know I have, as both a consumer and a vendor, attended a juried show, but have left wondering how exactly the jurying works because some items didn’t quite seem to fit. I’m not saying it was a case of good vs. bad, art vs. craft (that’s a whole other debate), but I do think that if the point of a jury is to help maintain a certain quality control and skill level in a show, then it should be reflected by who is juried into it.
I already know that most of the traditional venues of where to sell jewellery don’t work for me. And I also know that if someone doesn’t stop to have a closer look or take a moment to ask questions about my work, or questions my pricing, then they probably aren’t my customer. And that’s ok. I know that most people aren’t going to know about the processes I use, so I am happy to explain it. That is in part how I came up with my first Technique Tuesday post. If I don’t tell anybody about how I do things, then nobody is going to know.
I’ve often caught myself wondering if these differences only exist within the jewellery industry, but a friend pointed out that no, surely other artisans also face a similar struggle in light of chain stores and the like. Whether you are an independent clothing designer, ceramicist, soap maker, etc., what do you do to help your work stand out from the crowd?
Check out Tara Gentile’s site big thinking for small businesses for some great reading & helpful tips about running a small business. Last week she wrote a great post about pricing, which I also think is important to help you stand out from the crowd. You can read it here.